Programme Code: QT96 BA/ArlslSt
Venue: Russell Square: College Buildings
Mode of Attendance: Full-time
This four-year programme is intended to give students a solid grounding in Modern Standard and classical Arabic, familiarity with the core textual tradition of Islam, a broad knowledge of Islamic history and some insight into the methodology of religious studies. The third year is spent at a university in the Middle East.
Modern language teaching involves class work, language-laboratory teaching, computer-assisted learning (CALL) and independent study. Introductory and intermediate modules in Arabic language use a wide variety of learning experiences and techniques in large and small groups. Most other modules are taught in small classes. Assessment is by a combination of written examination, oral examination (where appropriate) and coursework.
Degree programmes at SOAS - including this one - can include language courses in more than forty African and Asian languages. It is SOAS students’ command of an African or Asian language which sets SOAS apart from other universities.
Students take modules to the value of 120 credits per year. There is some element of choice to develop special interests.
1. Core Module
Must be passed with an overall mark of 50 to proceed to the following year of study.
2. Compulsory Module
Choose one of the following modules:
1. Core Module
2. Compulsory Modules
3. Optional Module
Choose modules to the value of 30 credits from List A or another approved open option at an appropriate level to the value of 30 credits.
Please click the "Teaching & Learning" tab above for more information on the Arabic Year Abroad.
Students who wish to specialise in Islamic studies are able to opt for further text-reading courses in this field. There is also an opportunity to write an extended essay (ISP).
1. Core Module
2. Compulsory Modules
Choose one of the following modules:
3. Optional Modules
Choose modules to the value of 60 credits from the list above and/or List B (Year 4 Arabic related options) OR List C. You may choose 30 credits from the open option list
List A: Second Year Options
List B: Year 4 Arabic and Islamic Related Options
List C: Other Approved Options
SOAS Arabic Language Year Abroad
Students have the choice to spend the Arabic Language Year Abroad at one of the following four institutions:
- The Alexandria School of Languages (ACL) in Alexandria, Egypt (Preparatory Guide for Students Undertaking Residence Abroad at Alexandria Centre for Languages in 2016/2017)
- An-Najah University in Nablus, Occupied West Bank (Al-Najah University briefing paper)
- The Alif Institute in Fez, Morocco
- The Qasid Institute in Amman, Jordan
Year Abroad Programmes run from September to May of the following year and involve 18 to 20 hours of instruction per week. While the syllabus differs somewhat from one institution to the other, the prime focus throughout is on enhancing the students’ reading, writing, speaking and listening skills in Modern Standard Arabic as well as on imparting an advanced level of competence in the local form of Colloquial Arabic.
Towards the end of their stay students are expected to write an Arabic ISP (Independent Study Project) in Arabic of some 3000-3500 words on a subject of their choice. Supervision and guidance will be supplied by designated staff at the year abroad institution. To get an impression of the standard students have achieved and the type of topic they can tackle view the prize-winning essays (with English abstract) written by students during the academic year 2014-15.
In order to be admitted to the final year of their degree students will need to have passed the final language examinations at the year abroad institution and to have submitted their ISP by the specified deadline. The ISPs will be marked by the year abroad institution and reviewed by members of the SOAS Arabic Section. The best ISP from each location will be published on the SOAS website.
Students who fail the year abroad examinations or fail to submit their ISPs are deemed to have failed the year abroad. In order to be admitted to the final year of their degree they will need to repeat the language year abroad programme in one of the four designated locations.
For general advice on tuition fees, travel arrangements, health and insurance issues see the SOAS Registry guidelines on the Language Year Abroad.
The SOAS Arabic Section arranges year abroad meetings and briefing sessions where second year students are informed in detail about the year abroad locations and have the chance to meet and consult with returning students.
In determining the safety of year abroad locations SOAS is guided by the relevant Travel Advice published by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. During their stay abroad it is recommended that students subscribe to the relevant FCO website
Approximate living costs (rent, plus food and travel) will typically be between £350 and £500 per month.
Teaching & Learning
All full-time undergraduate programmes consist of 120 credits per year, taught in modules of 30 credits (taught over 20 weeks) or 15 credits (taught over 10 weeks). The programme structure shows which modules are compulsory and which optional.
As a rough guide, 1 credit equals approximately 10 hours of work. Most of this will be independent study (see Approaches to teaching and learning at SOAS). It will also include class time, which may include lectures, seminars and other classes. Some subjects, such as learning a language, have more class time than others.
In the School of Languages, Cultures and Linguistics, undergraduate modules take various forms. Modules may be taught through 1 or 2 hours of lectures a week, and some may have an additional 1-2 hours of weekly seminars. Languages classes may be 4-5 hours per week in the first and second year, typically less at higher levels.
More information is on the page for each module.
In the first year the programme's major component is the intensive study of Modern Standard Arabic; an introductory module in the study of Islam makes up the year.
The second year continues the study of Modern Standard Arabic and at the same time introduces the student to Islamic texts. A third module is taken in Islamic studies and a fourth chosen from the option lists and approved open options.
The third year of the course is spent at an Arab university or Language Institute in the Middle East, where students study the colloquial language as well as Modern Standard Arabic, and write an extended essay in Arabic.
View the prize-winning essays (with English abstract) written by students during their year abroad.
In the final year language study is continued at the advanced level. To continue the first-hand experience of the primary sources the choice of one of two modules in Islamic text-reading is compulsory. The remaining modules are selected from the list of options; students who wish to specialize in Islamic studies are able to opt for further text-reading modules in this field. There is also an opportunity to write an Independent Study Project (ISP).
Full details of undergraduate tuition fees can be found on the Registry's Undergraduate Tuition Fees page.
Fees for 2018/19 entrants. The fees below are per academic year. Please note that fees go up each year.
|BA, BSc, LLB
|BA/BSc Language Year Abroad
Application Deadline: 2018-04-30 00:00
For further details and information on external scholarships visit the Scholarships section
As a student specialising in Arabic and Islamic, you will gain competency in language skills and intercultural awareness and understanding. Familiarity with the region will have been developed through a combination of the study of language, literature and culture (which can include literature, film, music, art and religion) of various parts of the Middle East.
Graduates leave SOAS not only with linguistic and cultural expertise, but also with a portfolio of widely transferable skills which employers seek in many professional and management careers in both business and the public sector. These include written and oral communication skills, attention to detail, analytical and problem-solving skills, and the ability to research, amass and order information from a variety of sources.
Students graduating with this degree have opportunities to work in further research in Arabic or Islamic Studies, Education, the Arab and Islamic media, Islamic centres, the BBC, in the Press, the Civil Service and non-governmental organisations.
For more information about Graduate Destinations from this department, please visit the Careers Service website.
A Student's Perspective
Tamara Bah, American University, Washington
Before I came to SOAS, I knew that my grade would depend on either one or two large assignments and I was apprehensive about that—almost scared, however I am glad as I got to learn a lot about myself as a student. I became more independent academically and got to see what I can really accomplished without teachers “coddling” me along the way. Extremely refreshing!